London: Researchers have found that as the oceans become more acidic, the taste of shrimp - a popular seafood item - may become less desirable to the human palate.
Researchers from the UK, Sweden and Canada raised shrimp in higher than normal acidic water and then held taste tests with volunteers.
Prior research has suggested that the oceans are growing more acidic as they absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
That increase, the team suggests, along with an increase in temperatures is likely to cause stress to shrimp, which will affect their taste.
The researchers raised shrimp for three weeks in water with a pH level of 7.5 (the level predicted for the oceans by 2100) rather than the normal 8 - the water temperature was slightly higher than normal as well to reflect a gradual warming of the oceans by the end of this century.
Other shrimp were raised under current normal conditions. All of the shrimp were cooked by professional chefs and fed to volunteer shrimp lovers who rated the shrimp on how well they tasted, 'phys.Org' reported.
The researchers found that the shrimp raised under normal current conditions were 3.4 times as likely to be deemed the tastiest among all the shrimp, while those raised in acidic/warm water were found to be 2.6 times as likely to be described as the worst tasting.
The researchers also found that the fish raised in the more acidic/warmer water were 1.6 times as likely to die during the three week test.
The study was published in the Journal of Shellfish Research.